Southern Right Whale: Hasn’t been seen in New Zealand since 2009.
The Southern Right Whale is a baleen whale from the Southern Hemisphere which can be about 18 meters long and can weigh up to 47 tonnes. Its head is huge and represents one-third of the entire body. The head of the Southern Right Whale is specific for it has callosities on its head which are actually skin’s protrusions due to bacteria infections. This kind of whale likes to migrate by following the shores, for it seems to tend to interact with humans more easily than other whales. They’re more often seen in Antarctica.
THE WAIPU WANDERERS HOSTEL
Before talking about marine mammals, let’s go back to our Road trip. After our Pinnacles’ disaster, Anais and I hit the road towards Northland and spend the night in Waipu at the Waipu Wanderers hostel. The place is a lovely backpacker hostel in which we’re the only ones checking in! We have the entire place for ourselves and we finally have a place to dry our clothes near (or on) the portable heater in the living room. We’re still soaked from our Kauri-Trees-Adventure.
THE PIROA FALLS
After asking some questions at the I-Site about things to do in the area, we go to the Piroa Falls. And as we’re both feeling quite adventurous, we cross the river barefoot (okay, that was more like a stream). We’re not even cold. We’re such badass girls.
AN ALPACA FIELD
On the way towards Waipu Cove, we stumble upon an Alpacas field, ferociously guarded by… Cows. Every time we try to approach some Alpaca for a selfie session (okay, we’re obsessed with Alpacas), there’s a cow-gang coming in between. New Zealand, this country of cow-shepherds.
MEETING UP WITH THE WHALE…
The Waipu Cove beach is really beautiful. As we’re exploring, foot in the water, a young lady asks us if we came here to see the whale as well. A WHALE? WHAAAAT? WHERE? It seems that a Southern Right Whale has been seen earlier this week in Auckland Harbour, and its heading North, and it’s planned to pass by Waipu in the next hour. A WHALE? WHAT? WHERE? With Anaïs, we just can’t believe what she’s saying. What are the odds of us being here, at this exact moment, on this particular beach which is barely mentioned in the English Version of the Lonely Planet Guide Book? We’re so happy and excited that we start climbing rocks, to be as close to the sea as we can. We wait a while, both staring at the Pacific Ocean, scrutinising the water carefully, aware of every movement, every wave, until.
Until we notice a kayak. And the guy kayaking seems to follow something… Something. Like. A WHALE. OH MY GOD, A WHALE! We can just see its head, less than 10 meters from the shore, and that’s exactly the kind of moment where time is suspended. On the rocks, we’re about a dozen of people silently watching the whale, witnessing this unique moment with binoculars and cameras. I can’t believe it. It’s so surreal. I’m flabbergasted. Being here in New Zealand, being able to watch a whale in its natural habitat, being able to witness so many marvellous things every day. This is the kind of moment, intense, peculiar, unique, where I feel bloody alive, bloody happy and bloody in peace with myself. BECAUSE TODAY I SAW A BLOODY WHALE.
When the whale is out of sight, Anaïs and I get ourselves into a happy dance on the beach, and we activate the crazy-stupid-selfies mode. And the sky, as if it was cheering us, offers us a bloody double rainbow.
This very night, we drive until Whangarei and stumble upon a refinery in the middle of nowhere. The scenery looks surreal. Everything looks surreal anyway after seeing a whale for the first time.
And then, we spend the night in the best backpacker hostel I will ever go to.
Keep in touch…!
LET’S GO THERE! :
Waipu Wanderers (BBH), 25, St Marys Road, Waipu
Piroa Falls, Waipu Gorge Road, Waipu